To file-sharing guru, alleged pirate and international Internet activist Kim Dotcom, his one-month old creation – the encrypted file-sharing service Mega - is not only a company, it’s also a “belief,” not to mention “a guardian angel of your rights, freedom, and privacy.”
This grandiose declaration came via Twitter on Tuesday, where Dotcom also announced some quick figures on his new site’s growth. After one month, Mega has hit 3 million users, with 125 million files uploaded. This is certainly nothing to scoff at, and more evidence that U.S. Department of Justice charges of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering are not slowing the man down.
Mega, the rebirth of file-sharing service Megaupload, which was shut down by U.S. authorities in January of 2012, has been gradually working its way into headlines since its lavish January 19 launch, where Dotcom staged a fake FBI raid to blaring techno music, among other wild antics. Notably, the service hit 1 million users in the first 24 hours, and Dotcom announced through Twitter last Saturday that Mega would be accepting bitcoins as currency.
Dotcom has also announced that mobile Mega apps are on the way, which bodes well for those looking for almost completely unrestricted on-the-go file storage options for iOS, Android, etc. And in case you were wondering, Mega’s international traffic rates rank France, Spain, Brazil, Germany and the U.S. as the top five, in that order.
Mega’s Perks & The Cloud Storage Battle
Known for his ability to massively disrupt institutions, Dotcom is also making the news for his service’s competitive pricing. Mega’s rates currently stand at 50GB of free cloud storage. Users can also opt for a Pro Membership package, with tier-1 offerings of 500GB of storage, 1TB bandwidth rate for £9.99 (or roughly $13) per month. Tier-2 quadruples the storage and bandwidth amounts of the previous tier for £19.99 per month, while tier-3 doubles all of tier-2′s offerings for £29.99 per month.
Mega’s free option alone beats out the storage offerings of Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive combined. The additional perk is, of course, the privacy. Dotcom’s service ensures that users’ files are completely protected from peeking by way of an encrypted key. So unless you supply them with access, even Mega staff cannot access your files.
Mega: Privacy vs. Piracy?
That said, it remains to be seen whether the service will become another source of rampant copyright infringement. Considering Dotcom’s history, and the enormous amount of freedom Mega hands to users, that possibility certainly looms large. Being able to share anything and everything is great for privacy, but not so much for content owners hoping to keep file sharers from unauthorized dissemination of every new song, movie and TV episode.
Whether or not Dotcom will be extradited from New Zealand to the U.S. to face his numerous charges will be decided in March. Until then, he seems to be enjoying his new site’s steady climb to the top of file-sharing and cloud-storage leaderboard.
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